a middleSage publication

Learning is for a Lifetime

Lee Aldrich MiddlesageYou’ve graduated from high school, maybe college, and you’re entrenched in your career and/or busy raising a family. You’ve done lots of book learning in the past and you keep up with industry trends in your work. Do you think you’re learning anything new? Do you WANT to learn anything new or do you think that’s what school was all about? If you find you have stopped learning new things, realize that your mind, like your body, preforms best when it gets a workout. Without learning new things, you lose the ABILITY to learn new things.

Ali Luke in the article “You Should Never Stop Learning”, illustrates the importance of learning because:

“Learning Adds Depth to Your Life – If you take the time to consciously learn new things, you’ll find that you live life more deeply.


Learning Keeps You From Getting Bored – Each week, I’m learning new things – and this keeps me interested, motivated and happy.


Learning Keeps You Healthy – our mental facilities are best protected when we use them.


Learning Puts You on the Fast Track to Success –The final reason to continue with life-long learning is because that’s what successful people do.”

So what constitutes learning? Does memorizing every Michigan State University basketball score for the last 10 years comprise learning? Sorry, but no. According to learning-knowledge.com,

“If we learn something we will certainly remember it, but if we memorize something we may not have learned anything. Learning is about fitting things in with what we already know or changing what we know to fit in with things.”


So…learning is about changing. Hhmmmm….seems we’ve heard that some where…. In any case, memorizing isn’t learning because it doesn’t effect a change. How good are you at geography? If you answered terrible, pull out the globe or atlas and figure out where things are. Identifying countries, rivers and mountain ranges is LEARNING!

Geography isn’t your thing? Here are some suggestions:

  • Read: books, newspapers, BLOGS, magazines
  • Travel: test your new geography skills and visit those areas
  • Music: learn to sing or play an instrument
  • Hobbies: take up a new one (seems we covered hobbies, too!)
  • Code: yep, learn to code – even will.i.am is learning to code
  • Teach: whether kids or adults, teaching is a two way street and very often the teacher learns new things as well
  • Tech: learn a new computer program, or just learn to use all the features on your iPhone

file000816536459Learning isn’t just your nose stuck in The Canterbury Tales trying to figure out Chaucer’s humor. Learning new things is fun, adds depth to our lives, keeps our brains healthy, and gives you many things to talk about at a cocktail party.

It’s a big wide world out there. What will YOU learn this week?







  1. Sue Shoemaker

    16 July

    Learning is a priority for me. When I bought my first PC and got “connected” to the Internet…it was like whole world of learning potential and opportunity opened up for me. It reminded me of having access to a public library right in my home with 24/7/365 access.

    Last year I bought my first iPad. It was purchased as a tool for my current career as a Tour Director; however, it has become so much more than that.

    It allows me to read, listen and watch the “best of the best” instantaneously.

    With TED Talks and YouTube…I can attend amazing lectures in my pajamas!

    Access to technology permits me to become acquainted with other “like minded” people, such as the two of you. We no longer have to be restricted by time or space when it comes to forming relationships.

    In 2010, I retired from full time work. Without the Internet, I am sure I would have felt very isolated living on a farm in rural Michigan. I LOVE the peace and pace of country living; however, I also LOVE the cultural opportunities that are found in the city.

    My current work takes me into cities…this spring I went to Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Detroit. I attended symphonies, visited famous historical sites, museums, and science centers. When a tour ends, it’s back to the farm for some R & R.

    Learning has always been essential to the “work” I have been called to do.

    Thanks, Lee and Barbara, for asking these “thought-full” questions!

    • Barbara Coleman

      16 July

      Learning is entirely different for me today, too! You’re so right about access to the internet….we’ve become a need to know society. Have you checked out iTunes U…it’s free and you can take classes from almost every major university on almost every topic right on your iPad! Thanks for following along with us!

      • Sue Shoemaker

        16 July

        Thanks for the info on iTunes U…I Will be checking into that, Barbara!

    • Lee Aldrich

      16 July

      Sue – thank you again for all your fabulous comments and support. And BTW – Barb and I are both originally from MI, Too!

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